Changes to Unity terms of service mean devs can't use engine with Improbable's SpatialOS tech

Studios using this tech together is breach of the middleware's terms

Changes to Unity terms of service mean devs can't use engine with Improbable's SpatialOS tech

Engine firm Unity has made some tweaks to its terms of service which mean bad news for developers using the middleware and Improbable's SpatialOS.

Improbable has said that a change to the TOS means that the SpatialOS cloud tech now can't work with Unity, with the engine maker saying that any titles using SpatialOS on Unity are in breach of said terms. Unity has also taken way Improbable's ability to work with the engine.

The London-based cloud start-up says it is trying to fix this issue, but in the meantime has set up a fund to help developers affected by these changes as well as saying it will be doing all it can to help game makers out.

This news is surprising particularly because Improbable rolled out its Unity GDK not that long ago.

A number of projects using SpatialOS are using Unity, including Bossa Studios' Worlds Adrift, Lazarus from Spilt Milk and MMO Seed from Klang

"Overnight, this is an action by Unity that has immediately done harm to projects across the industry, including those of extremely vulnerable or small scale developers and damaged major projects in development over many years," the firm wrote.

"Games that have been funded based on the promise of SpatialOS to deliver next-generation multiplayer are now endangered due to their choice of front end engine. Live games are now in legal limbo.

"All customers who entered into a relationship with us and Unity previously did so on the good faith understanding that the terms they signed up to, sometimes years ago, would allow them to be successful and not carry additional charges.

"We have always had huge respect for and been incredibly inspired by Unity and its mission. Unity was part of why we started Improbable in a barn in north London just a few years ago. We have always known them to put developers, innovation and integrity first and have been in loose partnership talks for some time with a view to doing more together.

"For now, we believe this unfortunate and counterproductive action to be an error in judgement or coordination failure within Unity. We are urgently working to clarify this situation and believe that a swift resolution may be possible."

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PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.